Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 10 June 2020

Not obligatory to fit in

The feeling of belonging, being part of something far bigger than the individual items that constitute the whole, is a very comforting one. My angling adventures have seen me joining various clubs and societies over the course of my life. Likewise, birding has resulted in my involvement with the BTO, the Herts Bird Club and, most rewardingly, the Kent Ornithological Society  (KOS). I'd like to think that, whilst a member, my input into all of these organisations was a positive one, although I suppose that it's best left for others to pass judgement?
In June 2020 I'm no longer a member of any mainstream organisation or society. Obviously I have membership at a local syndicate fishery, thus am required to abide by their rules. however, in no way am I duty bound to become a provider of data. If I wish to tell others of my catches, it's entirely my decision. Likewise, with my bird sightings, moths, butterflies, odonata and absolutely anything else I encounter during my time spent outdoors. What some other folk consider important is simply enjoyment to me and, as such, unimportant beyond the boundaries of my time spent looking and learning. That I choose to use such material to compile a post on my blog, again, my decision. What ain't up for debate is that I have to submit this same information to whatever, whoever, feels the right to know! 
During my final years as a KOS member I was given some confidential information about breeding Red Kites, by a gamekeeper. I never did visit the nest site, yet admittedly, enjoyed some fantastic time watching the birds on the private estate where they had set up territory. Imagine my reaction when I received a message from a KOS committee member asking for details of the breeding attempt! You what? I'll send you my bank details too, shall I? If that gamekeeper had wanted to share the information with the KOS, it was for him to do so. Certainly not my place to abuse the trust that the guy had placed in me, by telling the rest of Kent! It was that incident, on top of being branded a liar by BBRC over the Booted Eagle saga, which tipped the balance and why I now have no desire to be party to any of this nonsense.
I'm happy to continue along life's pathway enjoying the creatures, and experiences they provide, as time elapses. If I feel the need, then I'll blog about my encounters. not because I have to but, because I want to. There is a huge difference between the two scenarios. Freedom of choice, the beauty of being an individual, after all "you'll never make a difference by being the same as everyone else"

I'll end it here with a photo of a Marsh Warbler. I've found quite a number of these very desirable birds whilst on my wanderings, sadly never managed a Blyth's Reed Warbler during those same adventures. 
One of these Marsh Warblers was at Stodmarsh NNR and was deliberately suppressed by the warden! If birders aren't able to see birds at a National Nature Reserve, what's the point of tax payers supporting them?  Another topic for another day?


  1. The feeling I have with clubs Dyl, is I'm inclined towards making some contribution, but at the same time, not prepared to be involved to the exclusion of all else. I suppose there's an element of always wanting an opt out without causing problems to anyone else.

    What I do is stand back, observe proceedings, take note of problems that seem to be beyond solution. And then, if I can, just go and sort them out.

    Some would take a dim view of such uni-lateral decision making and action. But the problem they have is I've fixed something, not broken it.

    The Marsh Warbler picture Dyl.
    If you had asked me 'is this a Marsh or a Blyth's? I could say Marsh based on the ID spec afforded by Gavin H. It was the tertial being longer than the secondary that caught my attention. Never seen either as you might already know.

    1. Club membership is a two way thing. They want your money, you want what they are offering. All things being equal, both parties are happy. As birding is now very much a holiday pastime, albeit this Covid-19 caper has given my view of the hobby a real kick up the arse, I feel no requirement to belong to any club/organisation related to this superb leisure time pursuit. Equally, my angling is all about chasing dreams, and not publicity as it was in the '80's/early '90's. To be able to access certain fisheries I need to be a member of the controlling club. It's a no brainer really.
      The major difference between county bird clubs/societies and angling clubs/associations is that the end product of year for a bird club is their annual report, therefore members are expected to contribute towards this goal. No such item in the angling world. If a fish needs reporting, then look in the Mail or Times, or the various specialist carp publications that adorn the shelves. News certainly doesn't wait validation by a committee to get into circulation.
      Kent birding has been a massive part of my adult life and, on looking back, an outstanding period of camaraderie and adrenaline. If I were to bother, my Kent list would still be in the county top 50, by some margin. That, 1999, county year list has never, to my knowledge, been beaten. Great memories, of some great times but, today, nothing more!

      The rods are now my major focus, yet whilst sat in their company I've still managed to record Night Heron, Wryneck, Cattle & Great White Egret and Aquatic Warbler, amongst a host of other very notable species. Who else needs to know? Exactly - so I keep myself to myself and await the bite alarm to sound.
      Hoping that Bronwyn and yourself are well? Stay safe - Dyl

  2. Hi Dylan, In anticipation of the glorious 16th I have been wandering the banks of the stour with my polaroids on enjoying spotting fish and noticing nature in general when i spotted an unusual bird, it appeared to be a black and white blackbird feeding in the grass behind the swimming pool in Canterbury. I have taken some photos on my phone and have seen this bird on several occasions now, it is no corvid (magpie etc) It is , I.m pretty sure, a blackbird with a 40% covering of white feathers. I am not sure if this is rare as I am no birder, but I will happily forward you the photos if you wish. Have a good 16th give dem carp hell! Phil

    1. Hi Phil,
      That Blackbird is probably just that! A Blackbird exhibiting some white feathers so not particularly unusual, although always worthy of a second glance? The 16th can't get here soon enough, although I still haven't made the decision about which venue I will make that first cast, as yet.
      My son has just thrown a spanner in the works with talk of tidal Stour barbel - a project which would certainly be pushing into the unknown? I've just one more shift to complete before another three weeks of "furlough" freedom. I really don't care if it's carp, barbel, chub, tench or eels. The fact that I'm back out fishing is what matters the most. Thanks for the comment, good luck & tight lines with your own efforts - Dylan